The labor shortage — you can’t walk down the street without hearing someone complain about the struggle to hire any workers, much less skilled and qualified workers, for their small business. It’s no wonder, job openings have surged to 10 million in the United States, and the Labor Department estimates there are over 1 million more jobs than there are potential people to fill them, despite states ending unemployment protection programs instituted during COVID-19.
So how can small businesses prosper during a period of time where getting the work is easy, fulfilling it more difficult?
- 41% of businesses are offering enhanced benefits including perks like child care, Pet Insurance, Discount benefits and of course medical and dental benefits. These perks and benefits may help an employee feel like a company is a good fit for them.
- Wages matter. Ensure your pricing is adjusted to account for the higher wages you must pay to have qualified employees.
- Ensure your hiring practices are smooth and efficient. Once you find someone to fill the role, be sure to follow up quickly so that you don’t lose them through the process.
- Evaluate your educational opportunities within the company. People want to work at companies that help them feel valued, provide autonomy, and allow them to develop expertise. Do you have valuable experienced employees that can mentor others?
- Reach into schools and trade programs and set up partnerships and internships to help new graduates join your trade.
- Ensure your partners, like paint shops and other suppliers, know you’re looking.
- Streamline your business processes and scheduling as much as possible. Automate what you can automate. Work with partners and vendors to determine how much more you can squeeze out of your technology to keep your labor costs down.
Experts are split on whether these labor shortages will continue into 2022 as the economy continues to experience shifts or whether they will return to pre-pandemic levels. Whether the labor market relaxes or not, hiring is important for growth, and working on these processes now will continue to contribute to your success in the future.